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How Long Does It Take To Travel By Sailboat From California To Greece?


How Long Does It Take To Travel By Sailboat From California To Greece?

Are you wondering how long it will take to sail to Greece from California using a sailboat?

Or you just want to know the distance for informational purposes.

If you own a sailboat or want to travel by sailboat you need to know that its average speed is 4-17 miles per hour under the best sea-weather conditions.

With that speed and the distance between California and Greece which is 6269.6 miles, it is going to take an average sailboat approximately 369 hours (15 days and 9 hours) to get to Greece from California.

However, for this specific estimation to happen, a lot of factors have to be considered. They include:

  • Consistent speed,
  • Traveling in a straight line,
  • No stopping for fuel,
  • Port calls,
  • No engine failure, etc

This means that the possibility of the journey to Greece using a sailboat could be more than 15 days if any of these factors occur.

In this guide, you will learn how long it takes to sail to Greece from California using a sailboat, is safe to travel to Greece on a sailboat, and a few extras.

How long does it take to sail to Greece from California with a sailboat

To get the accurate time it would take a sailboat to get to Greece from California, you will need to know the speed of your sailboat.

Generally, the average speed of a sailboat is 17mph (mile per hour), which can vary depending on the skills of the sailor or type of sailboat.

Sailboats can be categorized into racer and cruising sailboat. The latter is much slower and also they both have different speeds.

Read: How Fast Do Sailboats Go?

The average speed of a racer sailboat is 17mph while that of a cruising sailboat is about 4-6mph.

So if you are planning on using a cruising sailboat to sail to Greece from California, with its speed at 5.7mph, it should take you approximately 79 to 90 days to complete your journey.

And if you are using a racer sailboat, it should take you 15 days that is about 369 hours.

Remember that for all these numbers totally, a lot of factors have to occur which includes:

  • If your boat is traveling at a consistent speed,
  • If you are traveling in a straight line,
  • If you don't stop for fuel,
  • No port calls,
  • No engine failure, etc

However, it is quite impossible for none of these to happen along the course of your journey so you need to keep in mind that your journey may be longer than estimated.

Is it safe to travel to Greece on a sailboat?

To travel to Greece on a sailboat is not entirely safe per se especially if it is your first time.

If you are not a professional, you may experience a  lot of issues with tides or even piracy.

However,  depending on where you are coming from, let's say California, it will require that you cross the Gulf stream which is the roughest waters in the world.

In the north of the Atlantic, you may experience extreme fog and storms which a non-professional may not be able to withstand.

This is not to say say that the journey is impossible, it is but only if you know what you are doing and are already used to these types of conditions.

The difference between a sailboat and a yacht

One of the major differences between an average sailboat and a yacht is that the latter is motor-powered while the former is usually hurled by sails.

Another difference is that sailboats are usually used for recreational activities like competitions while yachts are majorly for fun parties at sea.


If you are considering using a sailboat to Greece from California, know that it will be an eventful and a very long journey.

How long the journey will take depends on the type of sailboat you own or will use.

A racer sailboat is faster than a cruiser sailboat, the former travel at a speed of 17mph (15 knots) while the latter, a speed of 4-6mph (approx. 5 knots).

If you decide to go on this journey, you will need to prepare for unfavorable weather conditions and damages.

So if it will be best to hire a professional skipper (sailor) in that way you will be able to have more fun and more safety.

Further Reading:

Photo by Szelei Robert from Pexels

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